Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Do you also wish to go away?

In tomorrow's Gospel reading John tells us that many of the disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. Jesus then asks the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" In commenting on this, Larry Gillick has written:
Do you also wish to go away? I wonder sometimes how I would have responded to the question. Because at times the truth is I do wish to go away. I don’t like thinking this about myself. But in times of temptation, in times when I deceive other people to avoid trouble or get what I want, in times when I deliberately close my eyes to the sight of those who are poor or marginalized because I don’t want to feel guilty or bother to help. I too am one of the ones who wish to go away.

Do you also wish to go away? Peter’s response is striking. He doesn’t say yes, of course, but he doesn’t quite say no either. Instead, in good Jesus-style, he answers back with another question: To whom else can we go? It is not, perhaps, the most flattering answer in the world, but it is honest. It’s a little reminiscent of Winston Churchill’s famous description of democracy as the worst form of government except for every other form that has ever been tried. Following Jesus may not always be easy or pleasant, or even totally comprehensible, but when it comes to the eternal-life business, to tell the truth there’s not much out there in the way of alternatives.

As ethicist Lewis Smedes said, "This is where the trolley stops. . . Without Jesus we are stuck with two options: utopian illusion or deadly despair. I scorn illusion. I dread despair. So I put all my money on Jesus."
If you do want to go away, but not too far, come join us today (Saturday) from 12 noon to 3 p.m. as King of Peace travels to Honey Creek for a cookout, pool party and sea kayaking on Honey Creek. It will offer a great chance to get get up to Honey Creek and to together with your fellow churchgoers in a relaxed setting.


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